https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-32-1177-2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-32-1177-2014
Regular paper |  | 19 Sep 2014

# Comparison of methods for modelling geomagnetically induced currents

D. H. Boteler and R. J. Pirjola

Abstract. Assessing the geomagnetic hazard to power systems requires reliable modelling of the geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) produced in the power network. This paper compares the Nodal Admittance Matrix method with the Lehtinen–Pirjola method and shows them to be mathematically equivalent. GIC calculation using the Nodal Admittance Matrix method involves three steps: (1) using the voltage sources in the lines representing the induced geoelectric field to calculate equivalent current sources and summing these to obtain the nodal current sources, (2) performing the inversion of the admittance matrix and multiplying by the nodal current sources to obtain the nodal voltages, (3) using the nodal voltages to determine the currents in the lines and in the ground connections. In the Lehtinen–Pirjola method, steps 2 and 3 of the Nodal Admittance Matrix calculation are combined into one matrix expression. This involves inversion of a more complicated matrix but yields the currents to ground directly from the nodal current sources. To calculate GIC in multiple voltage levels of a power system, it is necessary to model the connections between voltage levels, not just the transmission lines and ground connections considered in traditional GIC modelling. Where GIC flow to ground through both the high-voltage and low-voltage windings of a transformer, they share a common path through the substation grounding resistance. This has been modelled previously by including non-zero, off-diagonal elements in the earthing impedance matrix of the Lehtinen–Pirjola method. However, this situation is more easily handled in both the Nodal Admittance Matrix method and the Lehtinen–Pirjola method by introducing a node at the neutral point.